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Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Blog, Developmentally Appropriate Practice, My Child Won't, Need To Know Info For Parents, Teaching Strategies |

How Preschool Teachers Get Kids To Nap

How Preschool Teachers Get Kids To Nap




I hear it every year. “How do you get kids to nap? He doesn’t do that for us at home.” Children in group care are expected help at clean up time, clear their own lunch and snack, set up their own cot with blanket and bear, even perform classroom jobs. I always complement parents with my reply…”It shows he’s been listening to you. He knows what you expect from him when he’s away from home.”

Make Your Expectations Clear



It’s all about our expectations. A seasoned teacher and mentor of mine (even if she didn’t know it) used to say that “Children will rise to meet our expectations.” I’ve come to see its true.

This is as true at nap time as it is throughout the day. Parents often don’t think their child will nap at school. With the different surroundings, different routines, parents often are apprehensive about nap time. The best teachers aprroach nap time with high expectations for each child. Our expectations will evolve throughout the year with the children’s growth and development.

Will all children nap? Not every day, but all of the children will rest their bodies and have some down time. Teachers want their children to be successful all throughout their day. A can-do attitude is as important at nap time as any other time of day. This is what parents need to know.

Nap time is planned for just as circle time or morning meeting is. We put as much thought into nap time as other parts of the children’s day. We put their cots out with thought as to who will likely talk and play together, who can tolerate the door opening when teachers come and go covering each other’s break, which children need to be in the darkest spot, etc.

Teachers implement their nap time plan, give the plan time for children to assimilate, asses what works and what’s not working, make changes as needed.

First Things First




First, we expect children to be active. Active playground/gym time is so important for developing body’s and minds. Even in the middle of winter bundle them (and you) up and get outside! When it’s too cold to go outside kids will still need active play. Teachers know how to integrate active play into each day’s plan. So now that the kids (and you) are worn out it’s time to think about the next step.

Routine, Routine, Routine.

Children do best when they know what to expect next. Just as with the other parts of their day a set routine that rarely changes will help every child succeed. Just as we advise parents to make bed time very routine we do the same with nap time. Read a story, put on quiet music, and EVERYONE GOES POTTY! lol

One of the best blog posts I’ve seen on the topic of preschool nap time is pre-kpages.com. Vanessa Levin does an interview with the blogger from teachpreschool.com that is great.

We begin with a clam, relaxed transition. “Put your blankets on your cots then meet me in the book area.” Read a quick, calming story, or some deep breathing exercises, release children in small groups.

It’s helpful at the start of the new year that each of the children get a little one on one at nap time. This lets them know you care about their nap, if it’s important to you it will become important to them. Maybe tuck each child in with a quick “Snug as a bug in a rug.” or “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” This might be more than some of your children get before bedtime at home. Toddlers obviously will need more (and earlier) nap than 3’s or 4’s.

Some teachers introduce chapter books at nap so children use their imaginations rather than illustrations. Still other teachers use books on tape or cd but again no book, just listen. Whatever routine you decide on keep it simple and keep it the same. Some states regulate how long of a nap time must be offered but generally 2 hours is the maximum.

Tips and Advice



  • Just as kids who help grow and cook their own meals are more likely to eat the meal, kids who set up their own cots will be more likely to rest.
  • Teachers give each child a moment to tuck in and say sleep well.
  • Dim the lights put on quiet (classical) music. Choose music that is exclusive to naptime, it’ll be an audio cue to sleep.
  • Teach naptime skills. Roll play if it’s difficult.
  • Follow children’s developmental abilities. Start at the beginning of the year with shorter books, longer one on one, backs rubbed. Later in the year longer chapter books, quicker tucking in.
  • Plan for non-resters. Quiet bins, small flannel boards, books will come in handy. Oxy-moron: naptime activities.  😉
  • Check state regulations for nap time requirements. Some require 2 hours of nap time daily, others only require 15 minutes of rest to be offered.
  • Stay present while busying yourself. Children know you you are still observing them while you get work done.
  • When nap is over wake the children calmly and individually. Turn the lights on last!
  • Check out my other posts on the topic of sleep herehere, and here.




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Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 in Blog, Father's Day, June Themes |

Preschool Father’s Day Gifts

Preschool Father’s Day Gifts

In in honor of our awesome dads here are a few of the nice Preschool Father’s Day Gifts our kids have made over the years.

Picture Frames

image  This cute picture frame holds a photo of Dad’s little kiddo wearing an apron, cooking hot dogs on the play grill, just like Daddy!

Preschool Father's Day Gifts  This picture frame holds a pic of Daddy’s little bidding artist.

Preschool Father's Day Gifts  “I Love You To Pieces” will be the saying on the card that accompanies this gift. Inside the container we’ll put in couple fun snack size Reece’s Pieces bags. Love you Dad!

Handprints

Dad Rocks  Dad Rocks! These cute picture holders will be so nice on Daddy’s desk.

Preschool Father's Day Gifts  My Dad Can Fix Anything! This cute little hand print holds the nuts and bolts for Dad’s next project.

 

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Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in Blog, Cooking With Kids, June Themes |

Preschool Pizza

Preschool Pizza

Preschool Pizza good enough to eat!  We celebrate pizza for a whole week with a culminting field trip to the local pizzeria. To make paper pizzas you’ll need to cut all the ingredients.

Paper Pizza Ingredients

Preschool Pizza Ingredients First start with the crust, then glue on the sauce. Pepperoni isn’t actually popular amongst most preschoolers but they seem to enjoy it on their paper pizzas. Green peppers are pretty easy to cut out like a hook shape. Black olives are simple enough, little ovals with a hole punch in the middle. The cheese is just white construction paper sliced julienne style. Last are mushrooms, again not a favorite of preschoolers but they’ll get it. I’ll leave a link when to the patterns on Printables ASAP.

Preschool Pizza  Love the one who took the time to make their olives look like eyes and the one who made the cheese look like kitty whiskers. We are 3 year olds after all! Haha

Pizza Books for Preschoolers

There are a few books we like reading during pizza week. The one pictured above, Pete’s Pizza  is available here.

Another fun book is Hi, Pizza Man and that’s also available here.

One more book the kids love is Pat’s Pizza you can pick it up .

Make Real Pizzas!

Preschool Pizza   These are the basics but you can add any toppings your preschoolers like. Craft sticks work well for the kids to spread their sauce. Let them choose their toppings and put them on themselves. Puting parchment paper on your cookie sheet will allow you to write the children’s names as you place them on the sheet. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes.

 

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Posted by on May 30, 2017 in Blog, May Themes |

School Fair Games

Many churches, schools, and child care centers put together lawn fetes or children’s fairs for their big year end fund raiser. This post shows some of the ways we brought our school fair games into our classroom the week before out actual fair. The kids had a great time!

Tickets

School Fair Games Ticket Booth  Our ticket booth is an old play storefront. With a few leftover tickets from our actual fair the fair goers had a great time!

Games

image  Two tickets for fish bowl toss game. For this game I just put plastic disposable cups in our sensory table. Every other cup or so got a little plastic fish. Each player gets 2 pin pong balls to toss. Every player wins a snack bag of Swedish Fish.

image One ticket to catch a fish. Each player works to catch 5 fish. Each player wins a snack bag of Goldfish.

School Fair Games Face Painting  One ticket to get your face painted. Kids love this even if you’re not very practiced at it!

Every one wins a prize after their first try. We bought our prizes Dollar Tree.

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Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Blog, May Themes |

Kids ❤️ Emojis

Kids ❤️ Emojis

This is a teacher made game for school aged kids. They’ll love it because kids ❤️ emojis.

Phone Game

Kids ❤️ Emojis  Grab an emoji bandana or scarf for a blindfold and play just like pin the tail on the donkey! First put together the phone on poster board. Next the poster can be laminated or use clear contact paper to cover it. This is going to a hit at kids parties because kids ❤️ emojis!

Next add the icons across the top. Here I added the three bars icon and the battery icon with a metallic sharpie marker.

Blind- folded kids would feel around for Velcro so we decided to just use tape circles on our imojis.

The icons are free at lillianhopedesigns.com Click on her freebie page and find the emojis party post, scroll to the bottom of that page for free patterns you can print. Seriously kids ❤️ emojis!

Emoji Masks

Kids ❤️ Emojis  A basket of these little masks is great fun for kids this age. Hot glue or just tape them to craft sticks.

Kids ❤️ Emojis Rice Treats

These are almost too cute to eat!         From sueathome.com

IMG_5806

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Posted by on Feb 12, 2017 in Blog, February Themes, Groundhog Day, Math & Science, Science, Shadows |

Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day

Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day

We had a great time making shadows on groundhogs day. Groundhogs Day is a great time to explore shadows.

We have a great little groundhog pattern available at Printables! Print it out, add color, tape it to a craft stick. Send the kids under a table that has paper draped over one side, with a big bright flashlight. Does the groundhog see his shadow?

Kaplan Early Learning Company has this great blog post on making shadows on groundhogs day or any day.

Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day

These little shapes are just stencils taped to craft sticks. Cut shapes from black construction paper so they look more like shadows. A big 9 volt flashlight propped up in a clear plastic shoe box will shine light right where needed. Simply drape a large sheet of paper over a little table. The kids love climbing under tables anyway, this just gives them a purpose.

Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day

A couple little chairs invite the audience to watch the shadow show. Make sure each child gets a turn to do both.

Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day

The kids learn quickly how to make the shadows interact. More shapes can be made with only the kids hands and fingers.

Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day

Disney Shadow Video

My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson 

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